Through my research, it became evident that there were only a few significant and differentiated design styles of commercial reeds.
Each reed was measured for 15 different qualities, however, only five measurement areas showed potential for defining a reed’s profile: blank thickness, reed width, vamp length, tip thickness, and shape of cut. Each of these areas were broken down into three areas, loosely: small, medium, and large. Amazingly, with five variables each with three categories (5 x 3 = 15 combinations), there were only a handful of combinations of measurements.
The pages linked below outline four unique and contrasting profiles, or “design philosophies,” as exhibited by commercially available reeds. Each profile is described in detail, with general overviews of playing characteristics and specific suggestions for working with each reed type.